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Mary Felder L’21

Mary is originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and comes to Penn Law to pursue a career fighting for just representation and advocating for police and prison reform. Prior to law school, Mary was a paralegal for Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, a civil rights law firm in Manhattan. There she worked on nationwide cases of wrongful conviction and misconduct of police, prosecutors, and jail employees. Mary spent her 1L summer working on appellate criminal defense with the Center for Appellate Litigation in New York City, and will spend her 2L summer as an intern in the criminal defense practice at the Bronx Defenders. Mary is currently externing in the pretrial unit of the Montgomery County Public Defender.

While studying Political Science and German at Northwestern University, Mary interned for the office of the Cook County Public Defender in Domestic Violence court, and in Chicago’s Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court. In college, Mary also interned for the Honorable Judge Biebel, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division in Cook County, where she researched the disparate impact of the criminal justice system on individuals with mental illness as well as options for policy reform.   

At Penn, Mary is the co-founder of the Student Public Interest Network, is Volunteer Coordinator for the Walk-in Legal Assistance Project, and is a volunteer with the Penn Law Prison Legal Education Project. She is also a member of the Penn Law Boxing Team and a performer with the Penn Law Light Opera Company. In her free time, she can be found cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and listening to musical theater while going on long walks and short runs around the city.